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Thomas Cole (1801- 1848). Home in the Woods. (1847).  

Hudson River School

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Thomas Cole (1801- 1848). Home in the Woods. (1847). Hudson River School. 

Thomas Cole (1801 - 1848), carries out this landscape the year preceding his disappearance. Many other painters after him will imitate this composition. The current figurative painters still use it as model. Why ? This work inspires the calm one and peace, the composition is perfect, the colors are judiciously selected. In the foreground a fisherman returns to the house. The scene is banal but it evokes family happiness. The house, on the right, with the skirt of forest, is at the edge of a lake which it’s on the left. With far an assembly line, sky and clouds. The elements of the landscape, trees, cliffs, mountain, clouds, encircle this house as if it were in a cocoon. The low-angled light of a setting sun lights the water of the lake, the boat and especially the house. The landscape is imposing but thanks to the light it is the house, the family and the children who are emphasized. The glance is immediately attracted by the house, it is only in the one second time which the spectator realizes that there are also animals on the painting. 

Although an immense sky dominates the composition, the point of view of the spectator is relatively low. On the level of the house and the family. 

The house and the lake are on the lower tension field, on 2 natural points of interest. The sky is on the higher tension field.

The sky and water occupy 50% of pictorial space. Nature other half.

The picture is built on the ascending diagonal. The principal guiding lines guide the glance either towards the house, or with far… 

Details : 

Woman, children and grandmother, 3 generations await the fisherman.

Obviously this man does not return without anything fishing.

These trunks broken in the foreground are the remainders of a demolition in progress. They give depth of field to the painting. It is by the proportions of the men and the animals that the spectator becomes aware of the vastness of the landscape.

This cow has the legs in water. There are other animals behind it and birds fly away on water above the lake. (See with the zoom). 

The low-angled light of a setting sun, ready to lie down, light characters and the house. It highlights the stretch of water where is located the boat and the home in wood. 

Colors : Contrasts between hot and cold colors. 

Similar paintings :

Jasper Francis Cropsey. Fisherman House. Greenwood Lake, 
(New Jersey). 1877. Hudson River School.

This painting carried out 30 years after that of Thomas Cole is a homage to the founder of the movement. The composition is reversed. Contrast between hot and cold colors is more intense with a strong contrast between complementary colors. (Green and red). 

House in the Forest. 

Even composition, even contrast between hot and cold colors, even mountain with the background. 

House at the edge of the River. 

Reversed composition. Even hot and cold contrast.